Postdoc Positions at the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Positions Available

The Research School for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Australian National University invites applications for up to 10 postdoctoral fellows to work with Martin Asplund, Matthew CollessElisabete da CunhaLisa Kewley, Mark Krumholz, and Naomi McClure-Griffiths and their research groups. Positions are available in a wide range of areas, including first stars, Galactic archaeology, star formation, galaxy formation and evolution, and interstellar medium evolution. Both theorists and observers are invited to apply.

The positions are for 3 years, with a possible 4th year extension contingent upon progress and funding. The start dates are flexible between March-Dec 2017. Applicants should have completed a PhD in Astronomy or Physics before arrival.

How to Apply

Applications must be received by 12 December 2016 for full consideration. Applicants should send a single PDF to lisa.j.kewley@gmail.com containing:

- cover letter
- CV
- publication list
- 2 page description of previous research
- 3 page statement describing future research plans

Applicants should also arrange for at least 3 letters of recommendation to be sent to the same email address by the deadline.

Salary and Benefits

The salary range is AU $68,300 - $86,600 (depending on experience). ANU offers a competitive remuneration and benefits package, a friendly and collaborative work environment, generous leave entitlements, flexible and family-friendly working arrangements, a dual career hiring policy, and generous superannuation and salary packaging arrangements including child care.

Projects

The successful applicants will contribute to one or more of the following projects:
  • Chemical Evolution across Cosmic Time: this research program, suitable for both theorists and observers, combines rest-frame UV, optical, and infrared Keck spectroscopy with large-scale numerical simulations to understand chemical evolution in galaxies across cosmic time, gas transport through galaxies and in galactic outflows, and how chemical elements are incorporated into stars. For further information contact Prof. Lisa Kewley (lisa.kewley@anu.edu.au) or Professor Mark Krumholz (mark.krumholz@anu.edu.au).
  • Galaxy Formation and Evolution in 3D: this research program includes the SAMI integral field spectroscopic survey of nearby galaxies and gravitationally lensed galaxies at high redshift with stellar evolution synthesis, photoionization and shock models to understand galaxy formation and evolution, including star formation and the accumulation and transport of metals and gas within galaxies. For further information contact Prof. Lisa Kewley (lisa.kewley@anu.edu.au).
  • The AGN - Host Galaxy Connection: this program combines wide integral field spectroscopy with detailed theoretical photoionization simulations to understand the fueling of supermassive black holes, the impact on the surrounding star formation, and the impact on their host galaxies. For further information contact Prof. Lisa Kewley (lisa.kewley@anu.edu.au).
  • The First Stars: this research program is aimed at discovering the oldest and most metal-poor stars in and around the Milky Way using ANU's SkyMapper telescope and determining their chemical compositions by means of high-resolution spectroscopy with telescopes like Keck and Magellan to shed light on their formation, evolution and nucleosynthesis. For further information contact Prof. Martin Asplund (martin.asplund@anu.edu.au).

  • GALactic Archaeology with HERMES (GALAH): the GALAH survey is a hugely ambitious spectroscopic survey on the AAT with the ultimate goal of determining the detailed chemical composition of a million stars in the Milky Way to unravel the full assembly, dynamical, chemical, star formation and merger history of the Galaxy. For further information contact Prof. Martin Asplund (martin.asplund@anu.edu.au).
  • The Origin of the Initial Mass Function: this project involves radiation magneto-hydrodynamic simulations of the collapse and fragmentation of molecular clouds, following the process down to the scale of individual stars. Applicants will have the opportunity to both develop new computational techniques and conduct science applications. For further information contact Prof. Mark Krumholz (mark.krumholz@anu.edu.au).
  • The Role of Gas Evolution in Galaxy Evolution: this project involves observational (ATCA, VLA, ASKAP & ALMA) and/or theoretical work towards understanding how the rate of atomic-to-molecular gas conversion varies within the Milky Way and Magellanic system and what role it plays in setting star formation efficiency. For further information contact Prof. Naomi McClure-Griffiths (naomi.mcclure-griffiths@anu.edu.au) or Prof. Mark Krumholz (mark.krumholz@anu.edu.au).
  • Evolution of Galaxy Populations across cosmic time: this project will use sophisticated spectral energy distribution models applied consistently to galaxy populations detected in multi-wavelength surveys at low and high redshift to understand the evolution of star formation, stellar mass and dust content of galaxies across cosmic time. For further information contact Dr. Elisabete da Cunha (elisabete.dacunha@anu.edu.au).
  • Angular Momentum in Galaxies: the SAMI survey is providing data on the kinematics, morphology and stellar populations of more than 3000 galaxies. This project will use this data to explore the role of angular momentum in determining the morphologies and star formation histories of galaxies. It will compare observations to simulations of galaxy formation to test models of angular momentum evolution during galaxy assembly. For further information contact Prof. Matthew Colless (matthew.colless@anu.edu.au).
  • Dynamical Scaling Relations in Galaxies: key properties of galaxies such as mass, size, and angular momentum are related by scaling relations that reveal how galaxies are formed and can be used to determine galaxy distances and peculiar velocities. This project will use the wealth of dynamical data from the SAMI survey to investigate these fundamental relations. For further information contact Prof. Matthew Colless (matthew.colless@anu.edu.au).

About the RSAA / ANU

The Australian National University consistently ranks among the top universities in the world.   Our astronomers have won the Nobel Prize, the Prime Minister's Science Prize, and Australian Research Council Laureate, Federation, and Future Fellowships.  RSAA astronomers are members of the National Academies of Science in Australia, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, and Spain.  RSAA has ~20 faculty, ~35 postdocs and ~30 PhD students as well as ~30 engineers and support staff. ANU astronomers have direct access to state-of-the-art optical (e.g. Keck, Magellan, AAT) and radio (e.g. ATCA, ASKAP) telescopes as well as world-class supercomputing facilities at ANU and nationally. ANU is a member of the Giant Magellan Telescope consortium.

The Australian National University is located in Canberra, the capital city of Australia with about 400,000 inhabitants.  Canberra hosts a number of first-class museums, restaurants and cafes. Canberra is also one of the few capital cities where nature reserves and parkland are integral to the city plan.  Canberra has extensive walking and bike trails.  The Research School for Astronomy & Astrophysics is located at Mount Stromlo, within the Stromlo Forest Park.  The Stromlo Forest Park includes a world-class mountain-biking trail, the Robert de Castella cross-country running track, the Stephen Hodge Criterium cycling circuit, and extensive equestrian and hiking trails.

The ANU values diversity and inclusion and believes that employment opportunities must not be limited by socio-economic background, race, religion or gender. The University actively encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.